Moaning’s 2018 self-titled debut album made impressive use of lush, overdriven, My Bloody Valentine-esque guitars. The band have rowed back on that tendency on this second effort ‘Uneasy Laughter’, but with debatable results. They attribute their decision partly to frontman Sean Solomon’s newfound sobriety, and reading about the limitations of masculinity while the album was being written. The record is dominated by synths, although given that songs on ‘Moaning’ like ‘Artificial’ and ‘Close’ also made less notable use of the instrument, that doesn’t represent as much of an about-turn as the idea might suggest. The songs here mostly lack the sonic power and impact of those on its predecessor, but they do accomplish the not inconsiderable task of making Sean’s angular guitars sit alongside Pascal Stevenson’s synths congruously on tracks like ‘Ego’ and ‘Keep Out’. Post-punk bands of various eras have transitioned to new wave over the course of three or four albums, but Moaning have done that with just two.